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Letters to the editor

for Oct. 30, 2012


Please vote, it makes a difference

I am encouraging everyone to please vote. Your vote makes a difference regardless of your political affiliation or beliefs.

I am proud to be a candidate for Troutdale City Council Position 6. I have truly enjoyed meeting so many more of Troutdale’s residents.

I feel my 25-plus years as a supervisor and manager in the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office makes me uniquely qualified for Troutdale City Council.

I retired as the Multnomah County Undersheriff, (the second in command of the Sheriff’s Office under Sheriff Bob Skipper), and have learned how to be a leader and consensus builder working across all government levels — federal, state and local agencies and officials.

To be a good steward of taxpayer money we must partner with all government entities and share resources and knowledge whenever and wherever we can. We must listen to our citizens and work for them; not make decisions solely to get re-elected.

I want to take this public opportunity to congratulate my opponents in this race for running positive campaigns.

In my opinion there is too much negativity in campaigning that it distracts from both the candidates and more importantly from the issues.

To find out more about me, please visit my web page at slyter4troutdale.com. I am asking for your vote and trust to be elected as your Troutdale city councilor.

I promise to work hard for you. I want to also thank all of my supporters for their dedication and encouragement.

Tom Slyter, candidate, Troutdale City Council, Position 6

Gresham doesn’t need districts

As a citizen in Rockwood I have always felt that I have had the support of all the City Council whenever I have brought up a concern in Rockwood that needed to be addressed.

I do not feel that Rockwood is without representation.

One of the arguments I have heard about voting by districts is that Rockwood, among other neighborhoods, does not have any representation. I do not agree. The City Council has invested money in the Rockwood Urban Renewal with apartment improvement grants and industrial grants. Also the new public safety facility will be built next year with urban renewal funds.

Mayor Shane Bemis, Councilor David Widmark and Eric Chambers came to visit my Neighborhood Watch Group shortly after it was started at their own initiation.

They wanted to know what our concerns were, and how they could help. Mayor Bemis gave some suggestions how we could solve some of the problems.

I followed up, and sent my information to his office. Each of our concerns was addressed and handled appropriately.

Mayor Bemis even called me back when the issues were within a few weeks of happening.

I have considered Lori Stegmann my Rockwood representative on the city council even though she does not live in Rockwood. She has a business in Rockwood and is a founding member of the Rockwood Business Coalition.

She was the energy behind our Cinco De Mayo Celebration and the Winter Family Festival at the Plaza de Sol in the heart of Rockwood.

If the voting goes to districts, I would not be able to vote for Lori.

As stated in The Oregonian article dated Sept. 22, Rockwood is the second lowest income area in the state behind Warm Springs Reservation. Our citizens are working hard to make a living in providing for their families. They can’t take time off of work to go to City Council meetings and other city meetings and functions required of them as councilors, who are unpaid.

In Gresham’s 107 year old history, only four of those years there were districts. Why change a good thing?

Let’s keep a united Gresham. Have someone run for City Council who has the time, money, and dedication the job takes no matter where they live in Gresham. And then let us as citizens support our City Council and mayor with our time, help and encouragement.

Catherine Nicewood, Rockwood president

Kight doesn’t deserve treatment

Recent efforts by the Troutdale City Council to unseat Mayor Jim Kight are offensive to me. If nothing else, my 40 years in public education made it very clear that the examples we set for children and young adults serve as what good leadership is all about.

Spending large amounts of money and time to discredit Mayor Kight personally and professionally seems petty and superficial.

My encounters with Mayor Kight have all been positive without any of the distasteful qualities hammered at by his opposition.

I will continue to support his efforts to remain as mayor of Troutdale.

Audrey Lowell, Troutdale

Administration needs to use Jihadist term

Here’s an important question that needs answers: Why is the Obama administration refusing to call radical Jihadist, radical Jihadist?

In an article in the Investor’s Business Daily (“A White House Red Carpet For Jihadist,” Oct. 23), Paul Sperry writes “Al-Qaida supporters, Terrorists suspects, Anti-Semites and jihadists previously kicked off government boards. All are now welcome in the Obama White House, according to visitor logs.”

Perry continues that according to White House records, “Dozens of radical Islamists have made hundreds of visits to the White House since 2009.”

Sperry notes “that they’ve met with senior White House officials in discussions that have involved only a handful of participants.

After a year-long probe, a new report by the Washington-based Investigative Project on Terrorism questioned “potential security breaches” that were revealed in the probe and that this new open door policy by the Obama administration to radical Islamists such as a number of visits by the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas front groups raises questions as to why they have been invited to the White House when it is these very groups that we are fighting in the Middle East?

What is especially shocking is “the meetings have coincided with Homeland Security policy changes the White House guests and their front groups have clamored for, including purging language such as ‘radical Islam’ and ‘war on terror’ from the government’s official lexicon. In addition to this, the administration recently “censored Islamic references in thousands of pages of counter-terrorism training materials used by the FBI, Homeland Security and Pentagon, while firing many of the trainers who wrote or used the materials.”

There is a lot more to this story but my question is, how can you fight an enemy (such as in Benghazi) if you don’t know or acknowledge who the enemy is and what their agenda is for not only the Middle East, but Europe and eventually the United States?

Louis H. Bowerman, Portland

Vote no on 26-141

Partisan politics is dividing this nation. Our elected officials — each representing their own particular sub-group — are failing us, because they answer to only a fraction of us.

Whether you are a progressive or a conservative, you know the frustration that almost every American feels about the bickering and infighting in Washington.

Yet this November, Gresham residents will be asked to extend this paradigm to our City Council: divide our city into districts.

Doing so would make our leadership work for just a part of the city, not all of it. It would encourage our elected officials to fight and scrap for petty projects that favor only their neighborhoods.

By voting for districts, you would give up your right to vote for the whole city council. Your vote will only be able to influence one city councilor.

I can’t think of any situation in which I would want to advance this kind of thinking, this kind of governance, at the local level.

I’m voting no on measure 26-141 because I rather like the fact that I can now vote for the entire city council. Every one of these people answer to me. And you. At least for now. Don’t change what isn’t broken. Please join me in voting no on 26-141.

Matthew Norquist, Gresham

Why I support Jim Kight for mayor

Jim Kight is a businessman and he is successful. He has worked tirelessly to get our downtown moving. His opponent has spent thousands of dollars on negative campaigning on the issue.

What is his opponent’s agenda? Believe me, he has one. He has to be mayor to push it. Why?

There are two sides to every story. It seems in campaigning that once something is in print, people seem to remember it. It’s “human nature.” But, do your homework before voting.

The accessory structure that was built on Kight’s property was signed off by several city departments (permit and building inspectors). And, the city manager, who runs everything.

Jim’s opponent has a costly agenda, which will cost the taxpayers of Troutdale dearly in the coming months.

So do your homework before you vote. This is a small town. Why has his opponent spent so much on this one issue if he or his campaign donors did not have something to gain?

Pat Smith, former Troutdale city councilor

Let’s not lose Monnes Anderson’s seniority

I’m voting to retain Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson and here’s why: Seniority is the name of the game of politics, and she has a lot more than her challengers. She has matriculated from the House of Representatives.

No constituent is ignored by her. Case in point: Col. Mel Holst and I drove to her Salem office and asked her for a resolution to memorialize Miss America 2002 from Gresham. She got it through the Oregon Legislature.

When we needed a keynote speaker for the dedication of Gresham’s Heroes Monument, our committee went to 2nd Lt. U.S. Air Force, Laurie Monnes Anderson. She has flown in hostile air space in Vietnam and she knows veterans’ issues.

Her late father, Bud Monnes, was a Navy drill instructor in World War II. She is there when you need her and that’s why I’m for keeping Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson in the Oregon Senate.

Claire E. Pense, Gresham

Kight leads by example

You can say whatever you like about Mayor Jim Kight, but one fact is certain: He gets things done.

As a downtown business owner, I appreciate the work Mayor Kight has done for our downtown. The empty stores are no more. That is a great achievement in this economy. Being a small business owner, the mayor understands our needs.

I particularly liked his enthusiasm for cleaning up the downtown, even pressure washing the sidewalks. I’ve never heard of a mayor doing that.

He leads by example — a rare trait in today’s political climate.

This is the type of person we need in leadership in our community and that is why I support the current mayor for re-election.

Donald J. Barron, Troutdale



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